Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Green Wake - Ouroboros Closing - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Small panel, inset in the top left of panel two. Close on an old-fashioned analogue clock with roman numerals. The second hand is just ticking up to 9 o’clock.

CAP (Phil): 9 to 5, 9 to 5, sometimes it seems my whole life is 9 to 5…

Panel Two.

A small and shabby open plan office in a faceless business. The furniture is worn, the papers on the noticeboard are yellowing, the carpet is threadbare. On the desks, bulky old computers sit next to overflowing in-boxes. One desk even has an old typewriter. The clock we saw in panel one is central, on the wall above long rectangular windows which look out on a dark, grey morning. Rain pelts the glass, we can't see anything beyond. The clock reads just after 9.

The office workers are taking off their wet coats, shuffling to their desks. In the foreground is our narrator, Phil (new character – 30s, dishevelled, a worn-down office drone like the rest of them). He watches his colleagues arrive for another day at the treadmill.

CAP (Phil): This friend of mine, Barney, he quit this place and tried to get out of town. Said he wanted to go somewhere you can tell the difference between day and night, the job and your life.

CAP (Phil): He didn’t know no better.

Panel Three.

The edge of town. Dark and gloomy. A weary figure staggers down a road towards old burnt-out farm buildings.

CAP (Phil): Most people here, we learnt a long time ago – the road out just leads straight back in.

Panel Four.

Back in the office. The clock on the wall read 12-30. Everybody is working, head down, halfway through another dreary day. It’s no lighter outside, the rain is still pelting the windows. In the foreground, Phil glances across at the clock.

CAP (Phil): You accept that and you get on with it.

CAP (Phil): Get up, go to work, do the 9 to 5, go home and drink yourself to sleep.

Panel Five.

The edge of town. The weary figure stumbles to his knees.

CAP (Phil): Barney kept walking till his feet were hamburger.

CAP (Phil): Eventually he just lay down in the road...

CAP (Phil): He was no further away than when he started out.

Panel Six.

Back in the office. Not as wide a panel as the others, all we really need to see is Phil in the foreground, a couple of heads working at desks beyond him, and the clock on the wall in the background. Phil stands, putting on his coat, preparing to leave. The clock on the wall reads 4-59 and the second hand is ticking up to five. Nobody else moves from their desk.

CAP (Phil): I thought what happened to Barney was the worst Green Wake had to offer…

Panel Seven.

Small panel. Close on the clock, the second hand is one second away from five o’clock.

Panel Eight.

Small panel. Close on the clock. But now it reads reads 9-00 and the second hand is just ticking past the twelve.

Panel Nine.

Same as panel 6 except the clock reads just after 9, as in the previous small panel. Resigned to his fate, Phil takes off his coat.

CAP (Phil): Then one day, we didn’t even get to go home anymore…


  1. I stole the idea for this story from myself, which seems appropriate under the circumstances. It's based on a short story I wrote a few years ago called It's Five O'Clock Nowhere. I've long bee a fan of the inescapable town trope in speculative fiction, this was just my own spin on it. Seemed to fit the kind of weirdness that's rife in Green Wake...

  2. Rol, this is a very cool script. It's like you took the overall concept and theme and tone of Green Wake and extrapolated it further. I'm not certain if this would actually fit IN Green Wake, but we really haven't seen enough to say yay or nay at this point, so I'm calling this one win.

    It's a lot of panels but seeing as they're mostly clocks then you can get away with it.

    I also get the feeling you've had days like this.

    And it's alright to plagiarise yourself. It's actually a well practised method! (I plagiarise from you all the time, ha)

  3. Do people in Green Wake even have jobs? Anyway, I thought it was a great page and I found the ending particularly creepy. I'm sure it will ring true with anyone who's had a "nine to five". I have a two to eleven job, and there are times when it feels like all I do is work and sleep, so I can certainly relate.

  4. Rol, this is fantastic. Brilliant script.

    Although it's got me lamenting the hours I spend at the office...

  5. I am sooooo glad I don;t have an office job.

    Rol, brilliant as usual. Yes, a lot on the page, but I don't care. Brilliant as susual.


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